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Ensuring Validity

Understand the process of practice analysis

As the developer of the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE®), FSBPT has a responsibility to ensure the validity of the results. To provide safe and effective physical therapy services, we must ensure that:

  • Questions on each examination measure important knowledge and skills required for safe practice.
  • The proportion of questions measuring various knowledge and skill areas is commensurate with the importance of these areas to physical therapy practice.

Analysis of practice

To accomplish these tasks, we undertake a formal, systematic process referred to as an "analysis of practice." This process begins with the identification of work requirements for entry-level practitioners and ends with the development of a formal set of test specifications that delineates the knowledge and skills related to safe and effective entry-level practice.

Updates every five years

Because physical therapy practice evolves, the content of the exam needs to be updated on an ongoing basis. Every five years, FSBPT revisits the practice analysis to ensure that fewer test questions are included on skill areas of decreasing importance and that greater numbers of test questions address skill areas of increasing importance.